St Acacius Celebrated on March 31st

Bishop of Antioch. According to legend, this third century saint was so revered by his flock that they nicknamed him 'Agathangelus' - which means 'The Good Angel'.

When the Emperor Decius began persecuting Christians, it is said not a single Christian in his diocese denied their faith.

In 261 a representative of Decius named Martian summoned the bishop for cross-examination. Acacius told him that all the Christians were loyal to the Emperor, but when he was asked to make a sacrifice to the gods he refused.

Instead of immediately sentencing him to death, Martian continued the cross-examination and they are said to have spent hours discussing philosophy. Martian was so impressed with St Acacius' arguments he sent a transcript of the interview to the emperor, who pardoned him.

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